Armed Forces

Polish Army Acquires New Ammo for the Leopard Tanks

  • Kapsuła Dragon-2. Ilustracja: SpaceX /
    Kapsuła Dragon-2. Ilustracja: SpaceX /

The Armament Inspectorate of the Polish MoD has signed an agreement with the Mesko S.A. company, regarding purchase of new fragmentation-high explosive 120 mm projectiles for the Leopard 2 main battle tanks. Value of the contract is PLN 114.4 million, and 14 thousand rounds of this type are planned to be acquired in the period between 2014 and 2017. The order has been granted through negotiation, excluding the public tender.

The 120mm x 570 mm ammo with fragmentation-high explosive projectiles has already been introduced in the Polish Army in December 2012. A month later a contract has been signed, which assumed delivery of 3300 pieces of this type of ammo, manufactured by the Mesko facility. The initial batch consisting of 1500 pieces has been supplied back in 2013, the remaining ammo will be delivered to the Polish Army this year.

On 19th August 2014 the Armament Inspectorate released information, according to which the negotiation process with the Mesko company has been started, aiming at ordering (without a public tender) 14 000 rounds within the period between 2014 and 2017. On 25th September information was released that the procedure has been finished and order has been placed. Total gross value of the order is PLN 114 403 000. The decision has been made on September 19th, exactly a month after the negotiation process was started. The Agreement being signed without any additional tender was justified by the technical reasons.

The administrator indicates lack of possibility of introducing another set of ballistic data regarding the new round into the fire control system of the Leopard 2A4 tanks. The fire control system of the Polish Leopards 2A4 has an option of introducing only one more type of ammo, but this slot is reserved for the new 120x570 mm round with a sabot projectile.

This is how the approval of the procedure has been justified.

In that way, proper HE-Fragmentation rounds have been found, and the order has been placed with the Polish manufacturer. Similarily, also through negotiations, the Armament inspectorate has contracted a delivery of the first batch of ammo for the 155 mm Krab self-propelled artillery system.

However, acquisition of modern anti-tank ammunition is still to be discussed. This type of round is still missing in the inventory of the Polish Leopard MBTs. Polish Army has quite large inventory of German DM33 ammo, but its penetration capability against some of the Russian or even Belarusian tanks, which are equipped with heavy reactive armour, is still insufficient. Nevertheless, acquisition of such projectiles is questionable. On the other hand though, the justification cited above shows that the Army is aware of the problem, both in case of 2A4, as well as in case of 2A5 variant of the Leopard tank.